Certain works related to Haj, which were till now managed by the External Affairs Ministry (MEA), will be handled by the Minority Affairs Ministry.
Union Minister Najma Heptulla said she received a communication in this regard yesterday.
The proposal was first mooted during the previous UPA government.
“I was told yesterday that Haj is being transferred to our Ministry, I received a communication (in this regard),” the Minority Affairs Minister said while speaking at annual conference of State Minorities Commissions here.
“Haj is being transferred to us, not because it was not being managed properly. The Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) has transferred it to us perhaps from the administrative point of view as Haj deals with minority community people. We too had demanded that Haj be brought under us,” Heptulla said.
She said her ministry will now see how the new system “thought of by previous government” can be implemented.
Heptulla also said that “MEA’s role will not reduce in any sense.”
“We still will have to work in co-operation with MEA as people go abroad, to Saudi Arabia for Haj. So, it is obvious the role of MEA is there. MEA gives visas. We will manage Haj, will co-operate with state committees,” she added.
Heptulla also asked the chairpersons of State Minorities Commissions to work as a watchdog to see the schemes envisaged by the Centre are implemented by regional governments properly.
The session was also attended by National Commission for Minorities chairman Naseem Ahmad, NCM member Praveen Dawar and secretary Amrendra Sinha.